NASA’S six Moon landings between 1969 and 1972 have been at the heart of hoax claims and conspiracy theories for decades. Here are six photos disproving any claims of Moon landing forgery.
NASA landed the first astronauts on the Moon, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, on July 20, 1969. The historic Apollo 11 mission was soon followed by Apollo 12, Apollo 13, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16 and Apollo 17. Of this list, the doomed Apollo 13 flight was the only mission to never land on the Moon. But despite the six incredible journeys to the Moon and back, conspiracy theorists still claim the Moon landings were faked.
A commonly held belief about Apollo 11, in particular, is cinema legend Stanley Kubrick fabricated the lunar landing in a Hollywood studio.
Others have spectacularly claimed the Earth is surrounded by a deadly belt of radiation that would render spaceflight impossible.
Whatever the claim may be, years upon years of lunar photographs, videos and astronomical observations have failed to sway die-hard conspiracists.
Unfortunately, the average telescope here on Earth is incapable of spotting the six lunar landing sites left behind by the Apollo programme.
There is, however, an orbital spacecraft orbiting the Moon this very moment – the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
NASA’s spacecraft has been flying around the Moon since June 2009 in bid to chart the Moon’s features.
The LRO probe can dip as low 31 miles (49.9km) from Moon’s pockmarked surface.
From this height, the spacecraft is capable of photographing in great detail each of the Apollo lunar landing sites.
NASA took its first batch of landing site photos in July, just one month after launching the LRO.
The photo revealed the landing spots of Apollo 11, Apollo 15, Apollo 16 and Apollo 17.
LRO will be used to identify the best destinations for the next journeys to the Moon Richard Vondrak, NASA
Soon after, the space agency was able to photograph the landing sites of Apollo 14 and Apollo 12.
And in each case, the photos also revealed the remains of each mission’s Lunar Lander and tools and instruments left behind.
Richard Vondrak of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said: “Not only do these images reveal the great accomplishments of Apollo, they also show us that lunar exploration continues.
“They demonstrate how LRO will be used to identify the best destinations for the next journeys to the Moon.”
Apollo 11 landed in the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969.
Apollo 12 landed in the Moon’s Ocean of Storms on November 19, 1969.
Apollo 14 landed in the Moon’s Fra Mauro formation on February 5, 1971.
Apollo 15 landed in the Moon’s Hadley Rille region on July 30, 1971.
Apollo 16 landed in the Moon’s Cayley Formation on April 21, 1972.
Apollo 17 landed in the Moon’s Taurus-Littrow Valley on December 11, 1972.
How many people have walked on the surface of the Moon?
In total, 12 NASA astronauts have had the privilege of walking on the lunar orb.
The astronauts were:
Apollo 11: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
Apollo 12: Pete Conrad and Alan Bean
Apollo 14: Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell
Apollo 15: David Scott and James Irwin
Apollo 16: John Young and Charles Duke
Apollo 17: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt
Quick facts about the Apollo 11 Moon landing:
1. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on July 16, 1969.
2. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent less than three hours outside on the Moon.
3. Apollo 11 crew had to spend 21 days in quarantine after returning to Earth.
4. Apollo 11 returned to Earth and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969.
5. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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